As we turn the pages of the calendar … we replace the old one with a 2021 calendar from the National Parks Conservation Association. Below the beautiful scenes from Nature, a motto:
“Preserving Our Past, Protecting Our Future.”
It occurred to me this might be a good replacement for the rather nonsensical phrase “In God We Trust.”
For some police departments the central motto is still:
Serve and Protect
(as these lines from a police Code of Ethics state: “I will faithfully serve and protect my community while recognizing that policing is strong medicine and must be delivered at the right dosage”–National Police Foundation)
Now, in a number of areas, city councils, schools, sheriffs and police departments spend time and money plastering and painting “In God We Trust” on buildings, cars and more. One consequence of this empty phrase, apart from dividing people by their Gods, is that it distracts us from a higher ethic:
In Each Other We Trust
(That YOU trust in your God doesn’t serve me and does nothing to protect me).
I say we take the Parks motto as a model and spread it around.
But not only preserve the past, serve the present, serve each other, here, now.
And not only to protect the future, but protect each other, and the earth, here, now.
“To Serve and Protect” might go a long way to reminding ourselves, those we elect, and those we hire to serve and protect us, that the motto should be a guiding principle for all of us.